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Vegetable Gardening: companion planting sweet potatoes and... ?

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Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 30, Views: 163
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brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 27, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #9059411

I have an idea, and would like to plant spaghetti squash (or, as an alternative, tomatoes) on two wire towers in a raised bed. I have started my sweet potato slips, and am wondering whether I can get the squash going pretty well and then surround them with the SPs. I'm thinking they might compete too much with tomatoes, since they are in the same family if I am not mistaken. (Feel free to correct me!)

As long as I get the squash well-established first, what do y'all think?

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 27, 2012
2:32 PM

Post #9059500

As far as I know sweet potatoes and tomatoes are NOT related. However, regular potatoes are in the same family as tomatoes.

I have had both volunteer tomatoes and melons sprawl amongst sweet potatoes and they ripened. Some of them tasted darn good, too!
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 27, 2012
6:18 PM

Post #9059745

You're right, it's regular potatoes. My bad. Thanks!
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 1, 2012
8:28 PM

Post #9066176

[quote="brigidlily"]I have an idea, and would like to plant spaghetti squash (or, as an alternative, tomatoes) on two wire towers in a raised bed. I have started my sweet potato slips, and am wondering whether I can get the squash going pretty well and then surround them with the SPs.

As long as I get the squash well-established first, what do y'all think?[/quote]
Strong steel mesh fence would make a good companion ;o). When sweet potatoes get going in hot weather, there is little that will keep up with them (Kudzu, maybe?) and they will cover anything you put in the same area.

-Rich
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 2, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #9066986

Yeah, if I could can the hot weather I would make a fortune...
moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 2, 2012
2:02 PM

Post #9067183

I have to jump in...lol We found out about sweet potatoes last summer, here in zone 8 SC. We planted a row in the main veggie garden...they took over their row, the beans and onions, the white potato row...and tried to go out either end.
This year, they are restricted...to the front by the circular driveway. The concrete will contain them, they are on a slope, which will catch and direct the rain fall to them. They can pretend they are groundcovers...lol
I'll post pics when they finally get growing.
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 3, 2012
9:49 AM

Post #9068170

Sounds perfect! Beauty followed by feasting... yum...

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 3, 2012
10:12 AM

Post #9068202

moxies_garden - the sweet potatoes I grow are called "Vardeman" they are a "bush type". They don't take up as much space as other sweets, but personally, I wouldn't say they are a "bush!"
moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 4, 2012
1:48 AM

Post #9069072

Well, we have the sweet potatoes because DH has a coworker who's FIL grows them large scale. I don't know what kind they are, other than they grow very well here in SC zone 8, and they are not stringy. When I have a huge bag of sweet potatoes to do something with, they have to grow somewhere. At least we know we can grow them on this property.
19flip44
Camanche, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2012
8:28 AM

Post #9069452

Hi; I have a question about sweet potatoes! Anyone know if you can grow sweet potatoes in a 32 gal trash can? I have now room and I love sweet potatoes. If I should try it, I would use potting soil and get the bush kind? any ideas? Thanks to any one that has an ideas No room Phil in Iowa.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2012
9:16 AM

Post #9069513

I saw a video of a man who grew sweeties in a large 44-gallon Rubbermaid tub. The vines were totally contained on top of the tubs, and didn't spread very far. I didn't realize what he was harvesting under the vines, until he exposed the tubs underneath. Once he cut the vines away, all he did was turn over the tubs and "Voila!" out spilled all the sweeties!

SUH-WEET!

Linda

I'm trying to find that video again. Will post it if I find it.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 4, 2012
9:45 AM

Post #9069561

Gymgirl - any idea how many slips he put in each tub? I set 50 slips each year.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2012
9:47 AM

Post #9069566

Bee,
I have no idea. Google "growing sweet potatoes in containers" and then look for the videos. I can't access YouTube from this computer...

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2012
10:11 AM

Post #9069612

I FOUND IT!!!!!

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=131&ved=0CEkQtwIwADiCAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DxvfQYahP7sA&ei=UIB8T4zgCeLE2wWlwfCQAQ&usg=AFQjCNE-aQ9MxPDftvk73ceHrmXcB5OY1A&sig2=aAmD771qfk-L64rdhrWY1Q

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 4, 2012
10:57 AM

Post #9069673

Looks as though he turned over the containers and cut off the bottom, then braced it with a wooden board.

I get some very large sweet potatoes like the ones in the video. I put a whole bunch of them in the oven on the racks and roast them at 350 for about 2 hours. Then I cut them into 1/2 inch thick rounds, and freeze them in single layers in baggies. When I want to eat some, I first defrost, then cook them in oil until just this side of burnt on each side. Sprinkle with a little salt and enjoy!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2012
11:18 AM

Post #9069692

I LOVE IT! Thanks for the "recipe!" Do you ever make sweet potato "patties"? We get them here in the frozen food section, and I would love to know how to make them.

They seem to be just frozen rounds of sweeties. I thaw them and then nuke 'em to warm them up. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and some butter. Wonderful!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 4, 2012
11:30 AM

Post #9069710

Gymgirl - your sweet potato "patties" sound similar to my "rounds" - although, perhaps, your patties are made from mashed sweet potatoes.

I tried mashing, then frying sweet potatoes, but they fell apart in the oil.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2012
12:01 PM

Post #9069742

HoneybeeNC,
Your "rounds" do sound like my "patties." These are a very, very smooth consistency, with no strings or lumps.
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 4, 2012
2:24 PM

Post #9069892

[quote="moxies_garden"]They can pretend they are groundcovers...lol[/quote]
No need to pretend - I've seen a number of varieties with colorful leaves sold as annual ground covers.

-Rich

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 5, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9070570

Honeybee,

Do you like the Vardeman? I just ordered 50 slips from George's Plant Farm (http://www.tatorman.com/). I thought that the "bush" habir might allow me to avoid taking over half the garden. Did you get a good yield? My soil is a bit dense, so I don't expect as much as one might get in loose, sandy soil. I tried sweet potatoes last year, but the rabbits ate all my slips the night after they were planted. Apparently the slips taste really good to rabbits...

My dad used to tell a story about a time when he was fairly small. He got in trouble one day and thought it wasn't fair that he had been punished. One of his chores that day was to pull weeds in the sweet potato patch... Since he was feeling mistreated, he decided that he could get some revenge. It seems that small morning glory vines look remarkably like sweet potato vines, so he pulled a bunch of the sweet potatoes and left the morning glories. The way he tells it, he forgot what the original trouble was, but never again "mistook" a morning glory for a sweet potato. He was still telling the story more than 50 years after it happened, too. =: O

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 5, 2012
8:50 AM

Post #9070693

dreaves - yes, we really like Vardeman. They have deep orange interiors, and once cured are very sweet. I purchase my slips from New Hope Seed

http://www.newhopeseed.com/

Their slips are about 8" to 12" long so I can get them planted nice and deep.

Last year we didn't get as many as we did the year before. May was very cold last year and several of the slips died. The year before we harvested around 300lbs from 55 slips!

To say Vardeman is a "bush" is an exaggeration! They spread out pretty good!

You probably already know this, but sweet potatoes and morning glories are in the same family. The Vardemans will have pretty purple flowers at some point.

Don't worry about them growing in dense soil. Mine grow into the walkway where it's hard, red clay, and still produce potatoes.

My little dog chased a rabbit out of the yard a few months back - I hope it's gone for good!
19flip44
Camanche, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 5, 2012
10:21 AM

Post #9070767

Thanks gymgirl for the youtube video location, boy their is a lot of videos to watch, I am going to order some slips and get me some rubber maids, and this fall I will have sweet potatoes to eat. The nice part about it I can use space that is not in the main garden. Thanks Again
this tip was more that worth the Dave's Garden subscription. Happy sweet potatoes, Phil.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2012
11:22 AM

Post #9070841

Phil,
Thank you so much! I'm going to press some of my own Rubbermaids into service for the same purpose. I have a patch of ground sitting next to the raised bed. I can put two tubs there easily, and keep the vines corralled in that area.

Linda

P.S. I've owed $$$$ money to Dave's for a LOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGGGG time, for all the return I've gotten from my membership!

Hugs!
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 5, 2012
2:49 PM

Post #9070999

[quote="dreaves"]My dad used to tell a story about a time when he was fairly small...It seems that small morning glory vines look remarkably like sweet potato vines, so he pulled a bunch of the sweet potatoes and left the morning glories.[/quote]

They should - they're in the same genus as many of the morning glories. So is Ipomoea aquatica, grown for its edible leaves, which is happily blooming on my pool deck - beautiful white typical-looking Morning Glory blooms.

-Rich

Thumbnail by rjogden
Click the image for an enlarged view.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2012
6:39 AM

Post #9071718

Gymgirl - did you notice in the video that the Rubbermade tubs looked as though they had the bottoms cut off? They looked like they were upside-down with a wooden brace across the middle.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2012
10:09 PM

Post #9072694

Hey, Bee,
I saw that piece, and couldn't figure out what it was.

In any case, here's what you get for walking two doors down in your neighborhood.

They have been duly planted in a Rubbermaid tub!

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 7, 2012
6:44 AM

Post #9072884

Gymgirl - I see roots and leaves. I'm guessing a sweet potato vine? Hope so, 'cause morning glories look like sweeties.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2012
8:56 AM

Post #9073037

SWEETIES!

I'm challenging my neighbor to see who will get more poundage.

He's got a small raised bed with established volunteers, and I'm in a 32? Gallon Rubbermaid tub.

But, I've got secret weapons!

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 7, 2012
11:55 AM

Post #9073192

I have 50 Vardeman slips scheduled for delivery next week. I'm hoping to get some rain after planting. Looking forward to sweet potatoes!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2012
10:44 PM

Post #9073697

I have no idea what variety my neighbor gave me. And, I have a couple off the shelf sweeties that have sprouted in de cabinet. Guess I need to root the slips.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 8, 2012
10:23 AM

Post #9074171

My sweet potatoe slips are due to arrive the week of April 22nd. Their bed is already weeded and ready for their arrival. LOL

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